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William Shakespeare (Barnes & Noble Poetry Library)

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William Shakespeare "the poet" is usually represented in book form by the Sonnets, together with perhaps a few songs from the plays. And yet few would deny that they plays are essentially "poetic". How often have we search the Complete Works for well-known yet half-remembered lines, or quoted speeches as if they wee individual poems, not quite recalling which play they are William Shakespeare "the poet" is usually represented in book form by the Sonnets, together with perhaps a few songs from the plays. And yet few would deny that they plays are essentially "poetic". How often have we search the Complete Works for well-known yet half-remembered lines, or quoted speeches as if they wee individual poems, not quite recalling which play they are from or who spoke them in what situation? This selection offers several of the classic speeches. It also includes a selection from the Sonnets. Where a play excerpt has been used, the context is indicated.


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William Shakespeare "the poet" is usually represented in book form by the Sonnets, together with perhaps a few songs from the plays. And yet few would deny that they plays are essentially "poetic". How often have we search the Complete Works for well-known yet half-remembered lines, or quoted speeches as if they wee individual poems, not quite recalling which play they are William Shakespeare "the poet" is usually represented in book form by the Sonnets, together with perhaps a few songs from the plays. And yet few would deny that they plays are essentially "poetic". How often have we search the Complete Works for well-known yet half-remembered lines, or quoted speeches as if they wee individual poems, not quite recalling which play they are from or who spoke them in what situation? This selection offers several of the classic speeches. It also includes a selection from the Sonnets. Where a play excerpt has been used, the context is indicated.

30 review for William Shakespeare (Barnes & Noble Poetry Library)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    I plan to read many Shakespeare plays this summer. I won’t complete the full works, but finishing them all is one of my major reading goals. It might take me a few years to do it, but I shall get there eventually! Here’s where I’m up to at the moment: 1 Two Gentlemen of Verona 2 Taming of the Shrew 3 Henry VI, part 1 4 Henry VI, part 3 5 Titus Andronicus 6 Henry VI, part 2 7 Richard III 8 The Comedy of Errors 9 Love's Labours Lost 10 A Midsummer Night's Dream 11 Romeo and Juliet 12 Richard II 13 Ki I plan to read many Shakespeare plays this summer. I won’t complete the full works, but finishing them all is one of my major reading goals. It might take me a few years to do it, but I shall get there eventually! Here’s where I’m up to at the moment: 1 Two Gentlemen of Verona 2 Taming of the Shrew 3 Henry VI, part 1 4 Henry VI, part 3 5 Titus Andronicus 6 Henry VI, part 2 7 Richard III 8 The Comedy of Errors 9 Love's Labours Lost 10 A Midsummer Night's Dream 11 Romeo and Juliet 12 Richard II 13 King John 14 The Merchant of Venice 15 Henry IV, part 1 16 The Merry Wives of Windsor 17 Henry IV, part 2 18 Much Ado About Nothing 19 Henry V 20 Julius Caesar 21 As You Like It 22 Hamlet 23 Twelfth Night 24 Troilus and Cressida 25 Measure for Measure 26 Othello 27 All's Well That Ends Well 28 Timon of Athens 29 The Tragedy of King Lear 30 Macbeth 31 Anthony and Cleopatra 32 Pericles, Prince of Tyre 33 Coriolanus 34 Winter's Tale 35 Cymbeline 36 The Tempest 37 Henry VIII 38 Sonnets There's so may greats on this list that I have to read soon!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    Have I read this book? Only part of it. Even so, why argue about that rating? See bottom of review for a list of the plays in order What follows is little more than the GoodReads description of the edition pictured. But I feel I can do that, since I wrote the description. This tome includes all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems and sonnets. It was produced "for college students in the hope that it will help them to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the works for themselves. It is not i Have I read this book? Only part of it. Even so, why argue about that rating? See bottom of review for a list of the plays in order What follows is little more than the GoodReads description of the edition pictured. But I feel I can do that, since I wrote the description. This tome includes all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems and sonnets. It was produced "for college students in the hope that it will help them to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the works for themselves. It is not intended for the scholar ..." Two-column format throughout. Introductory Material (90 pages): 1. The Universality of Shakespeare 2. Records of the Life of Shakespeare 3. Shakespeare's England 4. Elizabethan Drama 5. The Elizabethan Playhouse 6. The Study of the Text 7. The Development of Shakespeare's Art 8. Shakespeare and the Critics 9. Shakespearean Scholarship and Criticism 1900-1950 Plates: 16 full-page Halftone Reproductions 6 full-page Line Cuts 9 pages of Notes on the Plates The Plays: Generally in order of writing. Each play has its own Introduction Footnotes at the bottom of the columns. This makes them both handy and unobtrusive. Liked by this reader. Appendices follow The Poems: 30 Appendices in about the same number of pages; these deal with a wide variety of topics, everything from "The Melancholic Humor" to "Cuckolds and Horns" to "Hawks and Hawking". I don't know how it compares with other editions of Shakespeare's works. It is the one I have. Here are Shakespeare's 37 plays, in the order presented in this edition. This is the best guess (at the time the edition was printed) of the order in which they were written, when on my no-longer-young journey I read the play, and links to my review. (It will take several years for this quest to be completed.) 1. The First Part of King Henry the Sixth 2. The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth 3. The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth 4. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third _2017_Apr. 5. The Comedy of Errors 6. The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus 7. The Taming of the Shrew _2017_Apr. 8. The Two Gentlemen of Verona 9. Love's Labor's Lost 10. The Tragedy of King Richard the Second _2016_Aug. 11. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet 12. A Midsummer Night's Dream _2014_Feb. 13. The Life and Death of King John _2016_Apr. 14. The Merchant of Venice 15. The First Part of King Henry the Fourth 16. The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth 17. Much Ado About Nothing _2016_Jan. 18. The Life of King Henry the Fifth 19. As You Like It _2015_Feb. 20. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar _2017_Oct. 21. Twelfth Night; or What You Will 22. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark 23. The Merry Wives of Windsor 24. The Tragedy of Troilus and Cressida 25. All's Well That Ends Well _2015_June 26. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice 27. Measure For Measure 28. The Tragedy of King Lear 29. The Tragedy of Macbeth 30. The Tragedy of Anthony and Cleopatra 31. The Tragedy of Coriolanus 32. Timon of Athens 33. Pericles _2016_Oct. 34. Cymbeline 35. The Winter's Tale 36. The Tempest _2017_July 37. The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: The Once and Future King T.H. White's Arthurian fantasy Random review: King John Wm.Shakespeare Next review: Understanding Power Noam Chomsky Previous library review: Verbivoracious Festschrift Vol. 3 The Syllabus Next library review: Shakespeare: The world as stage Bill Bryson

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    Celebrity Death Match Special: The Complete Works of Shakespeare versus Deep Learning Ubergeek Andrej Karpathy had the bright idea of training a recurrent neural network on the complete works of Shakespeare. It produces remarkably good output for an algorithm which not only knows nothing about Shakespeare, but can't even tell a noun from a verb! Here is the first of the two samples he gives: PANDARUS: Alas, I think he shall be come approached and the day When little srain would be attain'd into bein Celebrity Death Match Special: The Complete Works of Shakespeare versus Deep Learning Ubergeek Andrej Karpathy had the bright idea of training a recurrent neural network on the complete works of Shakespeare. It produces remarkably good output for an algorithm which not only knows nothing about Shakespeare, but can't even tell a noun from a verb! Here is the first of the two samples he gives: PANDARUS: Alas, I think he shall be come approached and the day When little srain would be attain'd into being never fed, And who is but a chain and subjects of his death, I should not sleep. Second Senator: They are away this miseries, produced upon my soul, Breaking and strongly should be buried, when I perish The earth and thoughts of many states. DUKE VINCENTIO: Well, your wit is in the care of side and that. Second Lord: They would be ruled after this chamber, and my fair nues begun out of the fact, to be conveyed, Whose noble souls I'll have the heart of the wars. Clown: Come, sir, I will make did behold your worship. VIOLA: I'll drink it. ____________________ The Karpathy article is excellent, and if you're at all geeky yourself I strongly recommend looking at it. The examples are impressive: the random Shakespeare is good, but the random algebraic geometry and random Linux kernel code are even better.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa J.

    It all ended so fast. I feel like it's just January, but look at the calendar - it's December! You surely remember earlier in the year when I said I had put a challenge for myself. This was the Shakespeare Challenge, in which I had to read all the works known by William Shakespeare. Guess what? I finally read them all! It started in January. I was bored and I didn't know what to read. One day I went to the library and checked out a book that contained 4 of Shakespeare's best plays. I read it and It all ended so fast. I feel like it's just January, but look at the calendar - it's December! You surely remember earlier in the year when I said I had put a challenge for myself. This was the Shakespeare Challenge, in which I had to read all the works known by William Shakespeare. Guess what? I finally read them all! It started in January. I was bored and I didn't know what to read. One day I went to the library and checked out a book that contained 4 of Shakespeare's best plays. I read it and soon after I told myself I needed to read more of his works. Thus, I got another book: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 11 months after, I finally managed to read them all. The task of reading Shakespeare's works was not as difficult or tedious as it seems to be. It took me long because I was most of the time busy and didn't have time to read, so I read them in-between classes and studying. To my surprise, I loved some of the plays, others disturbed me, and others made me laugh out loud. The first plays I read were the most popular ones, and were the ones I enjoyes the most. The tragedies worked better for me than the comedies, with the exception of Romeo and Juliet, which I did not despise but didn't love either. My favourite ones are probably Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and A Midsummer's Night Dream. About the historical plays, I can say they were harder to read because the tone was more serious and they were not meant to entertain, but they were worth reading all the same. I think the best ones here were the ones about Richard II and III. As for the poems, they were good too. They were beautiful, and this is said by someone who is not used to read poetry. I tell you, this challenge is one of the best I've put to myself. For next year, I'm not sure if I'll put more aside the Goodreads one because of my studies, but I certainly will read more classics (for example something by Jane Austen).

  5. 5 out of 5

    midnightfaerie

    I understand now why I have such a hard time reading Shakespeare. It's not that it's hard to understand. There are enough translations and self help guides to get you through the plot of any of the plays. And once I started reading and translating, I started to get the hang of it, and had fewer words and phrases that I had to look up. No, it's not that. Simply put, it's a play, and not meant to be read. I know there are some who might disagree with me, however, that's my opinion. I revel in the I understand now why I have such a hard time reading Shakespeare. It's not that it's hard to understand. There are enough translations and self help guides to get you through the plot of any of the plays. And once I started reading and translating, I started to get the hang of it, and had fewer words and phrases that I had to look up. No, it's not that. Simply put, it's a play, and not meant to be read. I know there are some who might disagree with me, however, that's my opinion. I revel in the complacency of description and plays don't have it. It is just dialogue. There is nothing to tell you infinitely how a character is feeling or what they're thinking. There's nothing to tell you how the set looks (besides a sometimes small minimalist description). There is nothing to tell how a character looks, are they beautiful? Are they old? Yes, I understand you can infer many of these things from the dialogue which is what you're supposed to do, but to me, there is great room for interpretation, unlike a book, which will describe it for you. Also, after doing a little reading on Shakespeare and the republishing of his works, it seems there are many different conflicting sources of original text, which is why you often find various works with different scripts. I truly believe that Shakespeare meant these to be seen on stage, not read from a page. It's where his genius is best seen and appreciated. That being said, I plan to read each play, then watch a movie rendition of each one. I would also like to list the reasons here that Shakespeare's works are classics instead of going into the same points repeatedly as I review each work. They are classics, I can't dispute it, whether or not I enjoy each individual play or not. And I do believe this is the first time that an author has gotten 8 out of 10 of my Definitions for a Classic. 1. Longevity: He's been around through the ages and I have no doubt we'll be acting out his plays on the moon. 2. The magic factor: His stories will pull you in every time. They focus on the aspects of human nature that we all can relate to, so you care about the outcome of the characters. 3. Unique: He has an unusual literary style that has made him popular throughout history. 4. New Style of Writing: Now I'm stretching it with this one, I know, because anyone who has studied literature knows Shakespeare wasn't the first to use Iambic Pentameter, however I believe he was the first to make it popular. You ask anyone to tell you the first author that comes to mind when you say Iambic Pentameter and they're not going to say Chaucer, they're going to say Shakespeare. 5. Huge Following: There isn't a person on the planet who doesn't know who Shakespeare is. 6. Controversial: To say his works are controversial is an understatement. The amount of times he's been banned is enough to put him in this category. The reasons for his censorship are diverse but range from vulgarity, to sex, to politics, to excessive use of freedom. (seriously, what does that even mean?) 7. Underlying themes: Underlying themes run rampant throughout his works and offer a wide variety of human conditions. Anything from betrayal and love to honour and glory can be seen in his works. 8. Substantial Influence: Shakespeare has had influence in every aspect of society from helping to shape the English language (It's all greek to me and tongue-tied - said to have added over 1700 words to the English language) to politics. (Dangers of introducing foreign politics into a city) ClassicsDefined.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    19/10 - I've just started a course on Shakespeare through FutureLearn and the first play that we are studying is The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is one I know absolutely nothing about. So far, I've read about three pages, or to the end of scene one and what I understand is that while I can barely understand the language, I can get the general gist of what's going on (or at least I think I can). There are many instances where God is Got, better is petter, brings is prings, very is fery, good is 19/10 - I've just started a course on Shakespeare through FutureLearn and the first play that we are studying is The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is one I know absolutely nothing about. So far, I've read about three pages, or to the end of scene one and what I understand is that while I can barely understand the language, I can get the general gist of what's going on (or at least I think I can). There are many instances where God is Got, better is petter, brings is prings, very is fery, good is goot, and w is left off the beginning of a couple of words, all of which makes for confusing and slow reading. I think I understand what was being discussed in scene one - Shallow has accused Falstaff of assault, breaking and entering and poaching of his deer - but it was a little difficult to pull that information out of all those difficult and misspelt words. Professor Bate's (who is the scholar running the course) comment that Elizabethan's weren't concerned with spelling is certainly proven correct by the writing in The Merry Wives of Windsor. To be continued... At the end of act I, scene III - I don't understand why Falstaff is trying to woo a pair of married women. Is he just being spiteful? Or is he delusional enough to really believe that they 'gave him good eyes'? To be continued... 26/10 - Well I finished it, mostly thanks to www.sparknotes.com. I really had trouble with the language throughout the play and had to refer to SparkNotes at least once a page. I could see where the dialogue might be funny, but I think it might work better as an acted out play rather than a read one. I feel like I would have enjoyed The Merry Wives of Windsor a lot more if I had been able to imagine what was happening in the scene better. Our next play to study is A Midsummer Night's Dream. This is one of the plays I studied at school, I think I was in year 10 literature, so about 16. I remember enjoying it and the movie with Calista Flockhart and Kevin Kline, also the Balanchine ballet. I think I might have to make a concerted effort to get my hands on one or both of these, watching the action really does help my comprehension of the dialogue. To be continued... 31/10 - A Midsummer Night's Dream was an easier and much more humourous read. Having read it before and seen the 1999 movie surely made a difference and "Yay!" I've managed to download/rent that same movie through my pay tv service. A movie of this week's play, Henry V, is proving more difficult to acquire. No luck with my pay tv service, iTunes, Hoyts Kiosk, or my library system. I've heard the quote "Once more unto the breach, my dear friends..." many times but had no idea it was Shakespeare's words that I was hearing, or a paraphrased version of it, from sources as diverse as Star Trek to every day use around the office. To be continued... PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge: A Play

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sookie

    Othello: 06/Nov/2016 -- 5* King Lear: 08/Nov/2016 -- 5* Romeo and Juliet: 06/Nov/2016 -- 3* The Tempest: 21/Dec/2016 -- 3* Richard II: 21/Jan/2017 -- 3* Henry IV: 10/Jun/2017 -- 5*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of the "Complete Works of William Shakespeare" from 1923. For reviews of various individual plays by Shakespeare, please see my shelves. ** This edition was published by "The Literary Press, London" on fine paper, to traditional standards, with each section sewn into the spine rather than glued. The top edge of the volume is gilt-edged. It has a soft cover with a burgundy leatherette finish, and gold lettering, plus a gold embossed design o Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of the "Complete Works of William Shakespeare" from 1923. For reviews of various individual plays by Shakespeare, please see my shelves. ** This edition was published by "The Literary Press, London" on fine paper, to traditional standards, with each section sewn into the spine rather than glued. The top edge of the volume is gilt-edged. It has a soft cover with a burgundy leatherette finish, and gold lettering, plus a gold embossed design of the Shakespeare Coat of Arms. Not many people know that William Shakespeare received a Coat of Arms from the English Government, to signify that he and his family were now a part of the upper class. Unfortunately, since he did not have a son to carry on the honour, the Coat of Arms was not carried on through the family name. Here is a copy of the Shakespeare Coat of Arms: The motto is in medieval French: "Non sanz droict" translating to English as, "Not without right". This volume is clearly intended to be a useful compact volume of Shakespeare's complete works. It is subtitled, Containing the Plays and Poems with special Introductory matter, Index of Characters & Glossary of unfamiliar terms. It can be held in one hand, and is comfortable to handle, considering it that it contains so many works. The frontispiece shows an engraving of "The Stratford Shakespeare": The print, as one would expect, is quite small, but comparatively clear. The "special introductory matter" mentioned, consists of an introduction by St. John Greer Ervine, the Irish writer and critic, and an essay entitled "Shakepeare and Bacon" by the great Victorian English actor, Henry Irving. There are also just a few double spread colour plates on glossy paper. These are all by classical painters such as the Pre-Raphaelites William Holman Hunt, and Sir John Everett Millais, and the animal artist Sir Edwin Landseer. There is also a painting by Daniel Maclise, a portrait painter and popular illustrator to Dickens's works, and one by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who specialised in classical subjects, particularly of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire. Since there are only eight of them, they are sadly not very noticeable in a volume of over 1000 pages, but they are attractive to come across in context: A Scene from "Twelfth Night" ('Malvolio and the Countess') - Daniel Maclise A Scene from "Midsummer Nights Dream" ('Titania and Bottom')- Sir Edwin Landseer A Scene from "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" ('Valentine Rescuing Sylvia from Proteus')- W. Holman Hunt This must have been quite an attractive volume originally. It is still a nice one to have, as it presents all the works in a way which is quick to refer to. It is nicer than an average modern "Complete Shakespeare" volume, and easier to use too. It has some history, but is still not my first choice for ease of reading each individual play. However, it was my first introduction to Shakespeare, as I found it in a church jumble sale for a few pennies when I was a child. I remember the occasion well, being convinced I had found a very important work - a real bargain! It therefore has some sentimental value for me personally. I seem to remember there was a yellow-gold silken ribbon bookmark attached at the top ... but it must have got detached and lost over the years. As today is 23rd April 2016, and the quatercentenary, (400 years) of Shakespeare's death, it seemed a good time to have a look at my oldest book by him, even though it is not yet quite a hundred years old. **I have not read all the works in this volume. However, if you would like to read my review of a particular play by William Shakespeare, please see my shelves for these.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexxy

    Read so far: *The Tempest

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

    What an exquisite edition of one of the greatest works in the Western canon. Armed with an authoritative editorial team, Professor Jonathan Bate has reworked all of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems. The footnotes are extensive and cover all meanings of words (including the more salacious ones that many school texts leave out), while also providing informative historical and contextual information. This edition seeks to give us every word attributed to Shakespeare (although, as it points What an exquisite edition of one of the greatest works in the Western canon. Armed with an authoritative editorial team, Professor Jonathan Bate has reworked all of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems. The footnotes are extensive and cover all meanings of words (including the more salacious ones that many school texts leave out), while also providing informative historical and contextual information. This edition seeks to give us every word attributed to Shakespeare (although, as it points out at length, we can't really know what he wrote: all of our current versions come from a variety of sources typeset in his later years, and primarily from the First Folio printed after his death. Any work of the Bard's is distorted in some way). With appendices and footnotes, notable textual errors or areas of debate are highlighted. There is so much to love here. Epic tragedies - Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, King Lear - joined by their lesser, but poetically affecting counterparts like Othello, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare plays with and shuffles around comic tropes in his wide variety of comedies: peaks include The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. In his more subdued romances, Shakespeare often seems reduced to more typical characters yet imbues than with layer upon layer of subtlety: Measure for Measure and The Winter's Tale are particularly splendid examples. Some of the tragedies and comedies aren't as startling, and some are challenging - such as his part-satire Troilus and Cressida - but every work brims with characters whose opinions, beliefs and motives are individual, and not simply echoing those of an author. Beyond these plays lies a staggering cycle of love poems in The Sonnets, as well as his other various poetry which always makes fascinating, lyrical reading. Capping all this is Shakespeare's incredible cycle of English history, which details the country's fate from 1199 to 1533, through the stories of the English monarchs: their battles, their loves, their lives and the effect their squabbles have over countless citizens. The cycle begins with the somewhat talky King John (far from my favourite work, but well presented in the BBC Complete Works cycle) and ends with the autumnal King Henry VIII. In between are eight plays (two tetraologies) which encompass the Wars of the Roses, and they are astonishing. From the private thoughts of the monarch to the most unimportant peasant, Shakespeare captures an age. The introductions on each play detail cultural successes over the centuries, as well as basic historical information. I've seen people suggest other aspects that could improve this - such as a suggestion of ways to double parts (this is defined as the "actor's edition"). Certainly, I can accept that, but as it stands this is already beyond a 5-star piece of work. A place of honour on my shelf, that's for sure.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ¸. • * ° *❧Gwendolyn❧°**★°**★

    5 Spectacular Shakespearean Stars! Whew! So much to love. So awesome to own, My favorite books(s) Hamlet & Midsummer nights dream.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Crito

    If the question is "do you recommend Shakespeare?" the answer would be of course, in what universe would he not be recommended? So I guess the one that would get any conversation whatsoever would be "would you recommend I read the complete works"? Well it certainly is a ride, a journey, there's quite a bit of stuff in here. One thing I'll say is I'm still not entirely convinced of literature's claim on Shakespeare because when I read these plays there's a yearning for performance, for interpretat If the question is "do you recommend Shakespeare?" the answer would be of course, in what universe would he not be recommended? So I guess the one that would get any conversation whatsoever would be "would you recommend I read the complete works"? Well it certainly is a ride, a journey, there's quite a bit of stuff in here. One thing I'll say is I'm still not entirely convinced of literature's claim on Shakespeare because when I read these plays there's a yearning for performance, for interpretation, for blocking, for I suppose theatrics. Even so much as reading it aloud immediately transforms it, the wordplay comes to the forefront, sentences that seem to run on too long flow like they were meant for it, everything comes alive. Shakespeare's a theater man through and through. The bit that gets lost in reverse metamorphosis from stage to page is most apparent in the comedies. If I were to dissuade someone from reading this, a few of the comedies would be why. Not only do half of them recycle the same tropes and setups, but the wordplay, the slapstick, the puns, they're placid and lifeless on the page where on stage they would flourish. Though at worst I never thought "this is bad", just that "this isn't grabbing me". But if I were to recommend this to someone it would be for the surprises, the things you don't think would grab you, the things you might never have read on your own if it weren't part of this whole. For me this was Measure for Measure, and Coriolanus, and the histories which read like one cohesive arc when all read at once, and the sonnets, oh lord the sonnets. The sonnets are a treat after reading the 37 plays, they are the most personal connection to Shakespeare, the most candid thoughts of his that exist in print. He muses on love and death and art and insecurity and even makes dorky puns based off of his name Will, the sonnets humanize him. They flow almost as if meant to be read in the order they're presented and they act as the perfect coda to his other works. Overall if you feel like making the plunge, I can at least assure I'm glad I did.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Update: Seven plays into my current spree, I'm going to have to put this on hold due to a lack of time. I've now read 17 total- my most severe weakness is the histories (have only read Richard III and Henry IV). When I come back to this project, I think that I will be reading those in order. 1st: Macbeth (finished-review posted) 2nd: Two Gentlemen of Verona (finished-review posted) 3rd: King Lear (finished-review posted) 4th: Merchant of Venice (finished-review posted) 5th: Othello (finished-review p Update: Seven plays into my current spree, I'm going to have to put this on hold due to a lack of time. I've now read 17 total- my most severe weakness is the histories (have only read Richard III and Henry IV). When I come back to this project, I think that I will be reading those in order. 1st: Macbeth (finished-review posted) 2nd: Two Gentlemen of Verona (finished-review posted) 3rd: King Lear (finished-review posted) 4th: Merchant of Venice (finished-review posted) 5th: Othello (finished-review posted) 6th: Comedy of Errors (finished-review posted) 7th: Antony and Cleopatra (finished) Original Post: I've been thinking about doing this for awhile, but as it is Shakespeare's birthday, I've decided that now is the time to start this project. I want to read everything, starting with the plays I haven't read in awhile, or at all, and moving to the ones I'm more familiar with. I'll post individual reviews as I go through.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marius

    10. LOVE's LABOUR'S LOST (p. 305 - 364) 11 October 2016 - 16 October 2016 9. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (p. 413 - 471) 27 May 2016 - 29 May 2016 8. THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (p. 102 - 154) 04 March 2016 - 08 March 2016 7. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (p. 526 - 583) 20 February 2016 - 28 February 2016 6. MEASURE FOR MEASURE (p. 159 - 214) 21 September 2015 - 25 September 2015 5. AS YOU LIKE IT (p. 472 - 525) 6 July 2015 - 9 July 2015 ... continued from The Complete Pelican Shakespeare

  15. 4 out of 5

    GoldGato

    There's special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. If readiness be all, then this volume is a staple on any bookshelf. Ready to be opened for quick quote checks, ready to be heaved at home intruders (it's really heavy), it is useful in so many ways. It stays open on the window shelf, so the afternoon breeze can choose its special pages. Additionally, there are several There's special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. If readiness be all, then this volume is a staple on any bookshelf. Ready to be opened for quick quote checks, ready to be heaved at home intruders (it's really heavy), it is useful in so many ways. It stays open on the window shelf, so the afternoon breeze can choose its special pages. Additionally, there are several sections dealing with Shakespeare's life, the Plague, Elizabethan art, and the people of the Great Poet's time. The extras are worthwhile. For instance, Tudor London was a genuinely filthy place, but as editor G.B. Harrison makes clear, it was still beautiful in its own way. There was no smog to grime the buildings, half-timbered homes stood on narrow lanes, and the Thames was still clear. The old City was all but wiped out in the Great Fire of 1666. Maybe that's why I love having this huge volume on hand, so I can imagine olden times filled with silver tongues. Confession: I also use this to come up with the many passwords I need for all of my online apps. That's because the bottom of each page has highlighted words and their meanings. It helps. Book Season = Year Round (thitherward)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carol Bakker

    I listed the plays individually on Goodread in order to write my responses to each one. This volume stands for Shakespeare's sonnets and poems. And what is to be said? He's brilliant. That's all. Would I read all the works again? Only a few sonnets. I have a "never again" list of plays. But I plan to keep reading my favorites. This edition is frill-free. No introductions, no illustrations, no footnotes, no gloss. I liked that. It was good to come to the bard with my wits, such as they are, and a d I listed the plays individually on Goodread in order to write my responses to each one. This volume stands for Shakespeare's sonnets and poems. And what is to be said? He's brilliant. That's all. Would I read all the works again? Only a few sonnets. I have a "never again" list of plays. But I plan to keep reading my favorites. This edition is frill-free. No introductions, no illustrations, no footnotes, no gloss. I liked that. It was good to come to the bard with my wits, such as they are, and a dictionary if needed. The text is in two columns and sometimes overflows with a [bracket on the line above. For this project, I listened to the excellent Arkangel recordings as I read. It spoiled me; for the few works where no recordings were available, I scrounged up a Librivox audio. In the other direction, the few times I listened to a play in the car without the text, I went back and read/listened. Someone (http://www.shicho.net/38/stats/38word...) assembled a word count for the plays: 928,913. Good words. Funny words. Grievous words. Meh words. Double entendres. Uplifting words. Beautiful words. This project, now completed, has been a benediction.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jane Scholey

    Makes me feel sad that people dislike Will due to the way he was introduced to them at school. He’s one of the funniest writers ever. Sorry, clever, sad, empathetic. As you like it is still one of my fave plays ever.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wright

    Not enough dragons.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mads

    To the Author

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    Henry VI, Part I[return]Henry VI, Part II[return]Henry VI, Part III[return]Richard III[return]Comedy of Errors[return]Titus Andronicus[return]Taming of the Shrew[return]Two Gentlemen of Verona[return]Love's Labour's Lost[return]Romeo and Juliet[return]Richard II[return]A Midsummer Night's Dream[return]King John[return]The Merchant of Venice[return]Henry IV, Part I[return]Henry IV, Part II[return]Henry V[return]Julius Caesar[return]Much Ado About Nothing[return]As You Like It[return]Merry Wives o Henry VI, Part I[return]Henry VI, Part II[return]Henry VI, Part III[return]Richard III[return]Comedy of Errors[return]Titus Andronicus[return]Taming of the Shrew[return]Two Gentlemen of Verona[return]Love's Labour's Lost[return]Romeo and Juliet[return]Richard II[return]A Midsummer Night's Dream[return]King John[return]The Merchant of Venice[return]Henry IV, Part I[return]Henry IV, Part II[return]Henry V[return]Julius Caesar[return]Much Ado About Nothing[return]As You Like It[return]Merry Wives of Windsor[return]Hamlet[return]Twelfth Night[return]Troilus and Cressida[return]All's Well That Ends Well[return]Measure for Measure[return]Othello[return]King Lear[return]Macbeth[return]Antony and Cleopatra[return]Coriolanus[return]Timon of Athens[return]Pericles[return]Cymbeline[return]The Winter's Tale[return]The Tempest[return]Henry VIII[return]The Two Noble Kinsmen[return]Edward III[return]Sir Thomas More (fragment)

  21. 5 out of 5

    J. Alfred

    Young Frankie in Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes says that "Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes; you can never have too much." It's a compliment both to the poet and the potato, and I agree wholeheartedly. To read the ol' Swan of Avon straight through has, I believe, made me legitimately smarter, and not just in a know-more-stuff-in-my-chosen-profession sense, but in a understand-the-world-around-me sense. Eliot says that Shakespeare and Dante "divided the world between them, and there is no thir Young Frankie in Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes says that "Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes; you can never have too much." It's a compliment both to the poet and the potato, and I agree wholeheartedly. To read the ol' Swan of Avon straight through has, I believe, made me legitimately smarter, and not just in a know-more-stuff-in-my-chosen-profession sense, but in a understand-the-world-around-me sense. Eliot says that Shakespeare and Dante "divided the world between them, and there is no third." So yeah, he's good. Anyway, here's a little something I wrote for the kids in my school's creative writing club: The Ballad of Billy S. this is the rule: if you can kill a guy just by dropping someone's "Collected Works" on him, the author is a king because if we collect your works, it follows that you're good and if you're writing all that much we'll read you (or, we should) and Ceasars come and Ceasars go but "et tu, Brute?" endures and what has stood time's test must be 'gainst ipads, too, secure. "it cannot be coincidence" (his chant was like a seer's) "it flows in such easy iambs: The Bard: William Shakespeare."

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edward

    Reviews: - Two Gentlemen of Verona - Taming of the Shrew - Henry VI, part 1 - Henry VI, part 3 - Titus Andronicus - Henry VI, part 2 - Richard III - The Comedy of Errors - Love's Labours Lost - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Romeo and Juliet - Richard II - King John - The Merchant of Venice - Henry IV, part 1 - The Merry Wives of Windsor - Henry IV, part 2 - Much Ado About Nothing - Henry V - Julius Caesar - As You Like It - Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - Twelfth Night - Troilus and Cressida - Measure for Measure - Othello, M Reviews: - Two Gentlemen of Verona - Taming of the Shrew - Henry VI, part 1 - Henry VI, part 3 - Titus Andronicus - Henry VI, part 2 - Richard III - The Comedy of Errors - Love's Labours Lost - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Romeo and Juliet - Richard II - King John - The Merchant of Venice - Henry IV, part 1 - The Merry Wives of Windsor - Henry IV, part 2 - Much Ado About Nothing - Henry V - Julius Caesar - As You Like It - Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - Twelfth Night - Troilus and Cressida - Measure for Measure - Othello, Moor of Venice - All's Well That Ends Well - Timon of Athens - The Tragedy of King Lear - Macbeth - Anthony and Cleopatra - Pericles, Prince of Tyre - Coriolanus - Winter's Tale - Cymbeline - The Tempest - Henry VIII - Sonnets

  23. 5 out of 5

    Polly

    I have not finished this yet, although David gave it to me for Christmas about 15 years ago (clearly not the Kindle edition, but I can't seem to change that). Some of my favorites are Henry V, Hamlet and King Lear. I don't care so much for the comedies. I think everyone should read Shakespeare to know what good writing is, and to get an idea of the impact of human behavior for better and for worse. There are so many wonderful and relevant lines that I wish I could commit more to memory. During t I have not finished this yet, although David gave it to me for Christmas about 15 years ago (clearly not the Kindle edition, but I can't seem to change that). Some of my favorites are Henry V, Hamlet and King Lear. I don't care so much for the comedies. I think everyone should read Shakespeare to know what good writing is, and to get an idea of the impact of human behavior for better and for worse. There are so many wonderful and relevant lines that I wish I could commit more to memory. During the recent burst of animosity over the BYU v. U of U football game I posted this quote from Fluellen of Henry V in our home: If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb? in your own conscience, now? That's what I call staying power. Written in the 16th and as relevant as ever. Lets us know how little human nature has evolved. Shakespeare is just full of memorable characters and amazing lines.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeb

    Favorites: Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear. Second-favorite: Othello. Don't give as much of a damn about as I should: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar. I tend to enjoy but the plots muddle in my head: Much Ado, As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night. Would like to see/read/study: Winter's Tale, Tempest. The histories: not interested.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Evans

    People always complain that the language is hard to read but, while it is easier to watch than read his works, the effort is worth the reward. The poetry and craftmanship of his words are magical. So emotive. He somehow speaks straight to the soul. Who else would be remembered so fondly after so long a time?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe

    Of course I loved it. I have a functional hardcover from college, this one, and miscellaneous paperbacks from high school which I suppose I could get rid of. Will is my man. This is what having a crush on your seventh-grade English teacher leads to: Bardolatry. [thanks for that word, [author:Lauren Baratz-Logsted|27212]

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Well, what can I say? I decided to begin the year by reading the complete works of the Bard. I spent nearly every day for the past two months with the Immortal Bard, tangled in the deep richness of his verse, reading all of his 37 plays (I am not counting here “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” which has only recently and contentiously been added to the Shakespearean cannon) and the entire poetry (the sonnets and minor epics). Now that I am finished I feel a plethora of emotions. First and foremost, I fee Well, what can I say? I decided to begin the year by reading the complete works of the Bard. I spent nearly every day for the past two months with the Immortal Bard, tangled in the deep richness of his verse, reading all of his 37 plays (I am not counting here “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” which has only recently and contentiously been added to the Shakespearean cannon) and the entire poetry (the sonnets and minor epics). Now that I am finished I feel a plethora of emotions. First and foremost, I feel very accomplished. I also feel somewhat relieved, as I can now move on to other works (though I did read many other books in between). I am also a bit melancholy; it is like bidding adieu to a dear friend. But I also know that this is not a goodbye, but rather a “see you later,” as I will certainly revisit many (though perhaps not all) of these works in the future. Shakespeare’s verse is probably the most beautiful in the English language. His poesy is rich, deep and multi-dimensional, his prose, flowery and magical. It has been an influence to nearly every writer, and not just those in the Western tradition. For me, I had read only a few of the sonnets before and some of the plays. I had previously read both “Macbeth” and “Richard III” twice, and “Romeo and Juliet” four times. I enjoyed each of these before, and they are still among my very favorites. Though this was my first time reading many of the works, it will certainly not be my last, and due to their cultural significance, I already had a good familiarity with many of the characters (Lear and Cordelia, Hamlet and Ophelia, Prospero and Miranda, Othello, Desdemona and Iago) and themes (the madness of Hamlet, the jealousy of Othello, the forgiveness of Prospero). I learned that I like best the tragedies, then the histories, then the comedies (this is a loose system of classification – there are problem plays, romances, English histories, Roman histories), but all of them have merit and I would list some of each among my favorites. I tried to make a list of the plays from my favorite to least favorite, but I realized that this is incredibly difficult and that my preference could be influenced by deep thinking, conversation or re-reading. But here is a (very flexible) list: 1. King Lear (a tragic tale of filial piety, greed, vanity and love) 2. Richard III (this was my third reading this tragic and dark tale and I like it better every time) 3. Hamlet (after rereading parts of the play I considered moving this to the top spot; some of the best lines in any Shakespeare play) 4. Macbeth (this was my third reading and, as with Richard III, I appreciated it more now than ever before; as with Hamlet, when I reread parts of this story about conscience and greed I considered moving it up on this list) 5. Romeo and Juliet (fifth reading; the final lines of dialogue and the window/balcony scene alone cement its place in the top ten) 6. Measure for Measure (I loved this when I first read it; I still enjoyed it when I revisited some of its pages, though not as much as I did at first) 7. The Merchant of Venice (Shylock and Portia’s lines are my favorite) 8. The Winter’s Tale (so tragic in the first three acts, but with a surprisingly happy ending; a great problem play that could also be classified as a comedy – loosely – or, rather fittingly, as a romance) 9. Othello (I appreciated this more upon rereading some of the scenes – the jealousy of Othello and the treachery of Iago, perhaps the most heinous villain in the entirety of Shakespeare’s works) 10. Coriolanus (As with “Measure for Measure” I really enjoyed this tale of revenge on my first reading, particularly the relationship between Coriolanus and his mother, though I found it less enjoyable upon a selected re-reading) 11. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a dreamlike fantasy; Puck’s last speech is the best) 12. Antony and Cleopatra (Comparatively, not the best verse, but a very complex and rich play, which makes it worthy of a high spot on the list) 13. As You Like It (Worthwhile for Jaques’ soliloquy – “All the world’s a stage” – and for the relationship between Celia and Rosalind; is there a truer friend than Celia?) 14. Julius Caesar (I was surprised by how little Caesar is in the play; it has some very memorable and famous brief lines spoken by Caesar, but its strength really lies in the complexity of Brutus’ character and the famous speeches by Mark Antony – “Friends, Romans, countrymen . . .”) 15. King John (on second reading of some favorite scenes, I might switch this with any of the Henry plays or with Richard II) 16. Much Ado About Nothing (a cute love story with a classic villain, Don John; Don Pedro and Beatrice’s lines are my favorite) 17. The Taming of the Shrew (the characters – Bianca, Katharina and Petruchio – and storyline are memorable; I would likely place this higher if it didn’t come across as so misogynistic; I have trouble reading Katharina’s famous ending monologue as irony) 18. 3 Henry VI (the ending of this one leads into one of my favorites: Richard III) 19. Twelfth Night (“If music be the food of love, play on.” A memorable love story; the side story about poor Malvolio is what really makes it, though) 20. 2 Henry IV (the strengths of both 1 and 2 Henry IV lie in the strained relationship between father and son and in the humour added by John Falstaff) 21. 1 Henry IV (Part 2 is certainly better than part one) 22. Richard II (this leads us into the Henry IV plays and it has some of the best lines of dialogue, particularly the lines delivered by John of Gaunt) 23. Henry V (I liked Henry’s speeches about his humanity, about the burdens of being a king, but disliked because it seemed a praise to war) 24. Timon of Athens (Probably my favorite of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, and it likely deserves a much higher place in the list; a story about human nature and greed – sort of like “A Christmas Carol” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” in reverse) 25. 2 Henry VI (both 1 and 2 Henry VI could be moved up in this list, but not sure where) 26. 1 Henry VI (the series of four plays, ending with Richard III, that tells the story of the War of the Roses, that bloody history of the Yorks and Lancasters) 27. Cymbeline (one of my other favorite lesser known plays, with one of the most wicked stepmothers in literature; I appreciated it less on a second reading of some of the scenes, however) 28. The Tempest (a story about forgiveness, thought to be the last play Shakespeare wrote; I just couldn't really get into it) 29. Titus Andronicus (a gross-out play, 17th century style – cannibalism, rape, murder; the play has waned and grown in appreciation over the years; the story line is seared into your brain, but the writing is not the best) 30. All’s Well That Ends Well (this could be moved up as well, but it bore many similarities to “Measure for Measure”; Parolles and Lafeu make the work) 31. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (I enjoyed this comedy more on the first reading than the brief rereading of some of the scenes) 32. Troilus and Cressida (I appreciated more on a second rereading of some of the scenes) 33. Pericles (not the finest writing, and it is questionable how much of the work Shakespeare actually wrote, but the recognition scenes at the end of Act V make it a heartwarming romance, with elements similar to “The Winter’s Tale”) 34. The Merry Wives of Windsor (Falstaff makes the story, but it was one of my least favorite comedies) 35. The Comedy of Errors (this was one that I struggled to get into – a play about mistaken identity) 36. King Henry VIII (this one I just struggled to get into. It is not only my least favorite history, but one of my least favorite plays, with writing that just seemed strained at times) 37. Love’s Labour’s Lost (so full of witty puns, but without footnotes/endnotes, it is difficult to appreciate; it was hard to get into and a bit stale – this work has not aged as well as some of Shakespeare’s other classics). The poetry too is wonderful and I cannot possibly list the sonnets and minor epics (like “Lucrece” and “Venus and Adonis” in order of favorite to least favorite). What makes the Bard’s works so lasting is their ambiguity, their fluidity and their universality. Many of the works can be interpreted in so many different ways. Love, jealousy, greed, shame, revenge, questions about human nature, are all weaved in so deeply through the annals of history and into the human condition, and Shakespeare writes about these emotional complexities with more depth and feeling than perhaps any other poet. The works are timeless – they’ve already been appreciated for more than 400 years, and will be valued for much longer in written word and upon the stage. In the near future, I would like to see productions of some of these works and in the next year or two, I may revisit some of the works on an individual basis. It is just for now that I say, “Goodnight, goodnight! Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jackson Cyril

    W/ today's reading of "A&Cleopatra", I will no longer be able to read a Shakespearean play for the first time . Anyways, the worst of the lot: "Taming", "King John", "Titus" and "Two Gentlemen". The best: "Midsummer Night's Dream", "Macbeth", "Lear", "Richard II", "Richard III" and (of course) "Hamlet". Unexpectedly good: "Henry V", "Henry VI Part 1", "Othello", "12th Night", "Henry IV Parts 1&2".

  29. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Axel-lute

    Far more fascinating and accessible than I might have expected. Occasionally horrendous. Often brilliant. Lots of amazingly sharp female characters who then give in right after tearing someone a new one. More variation to the tragedies than the comedies. Nearly constant opportunities to talk about various social issues and human foibles with the theater tween.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Feven Tekalegn

    "Give me my robe. Put on my crown; I have immortal longings in me".

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